Whooping Crane Whooping Crane

Today's News

Fall's Journey South

Report Your Sightings

How to Use Journey North

Search Journey North

October 13, 2004
Migration Day 4


Clip: A bird drops out
Watch It Now


All 14 Birds Fly!

Great news! For the first time on this migration, all 14 birds went the distance by AIR. No crates needed for the first time on this migration.The migration reached Green County, Wisconsin--another 46.3 miles closer to their goal. Perhaps they've already come to the realization that they are heading somewhere away from their summer home at the Necedah Wildlife Refuge. Or it could be because they are now in unfamiliar territory, making them more attentive to their aircraft guides? Joe flew in with his original seven; Brooke with five and Richard had picked up Brooke's sixth bird, arriving with two. How did today's flight distance compare with the other two flight days?

Today's flight was one hour and four minutes. That's longer than any previous flight, so the pilots watched closely to see if any birds were getting tired. Tired birds will want to drop out and land to rest. Watch the video (click "Watch It Now" under the photo at right). You'll see and hear the ultralight coming at you over the trees. Listen for its vocalizer playing the contact call. You'll see 3 birds; then one gets tired and drops away, but rejoins later. Do you see the three birds switch positions at the end of the clip?

How do the pilots know a bird is getting tired? Pilot Joe Duff has that answer in the audio clip below, but first take time to make your own predictions. How do they compare with Joe's answer?

  • Hear Joe (Audio Clip). What 4 behaviors let pilots know the Whooping cranes are getting tired in the air?

Map the Migration
Make your own map using the latest migration data

Try This! Journaling Questions
  • How is this "team" of birds like a sports team? How have they improved in the short time since migration began?
  • What's the total distance flown in the 4 days of migration? The total journey is between 1200 and 1225 miles, so how many miles to go? What's the average distance traveled in the four days?
  • In what ways is the start of this migration alike and different from the three ultralight-led migrations before? (See Comparing Migrations, and add your notes about today's flight on your own copy of the chart.)


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

Copyright 2003-2004 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to
our feedback form